Performing Spaces: Triumphal Entries and Festivals in Early Modern Scotland

Based on a comprehensive interpretation and comparison of the existing sources - including city records and expenses, chronicles, official booklets, letters, collections of poems and speeches - this book offers a detailed analysis of triumphal entries in early-modern Scotland. It examines Scottish triumphal entries as politicised events taking place in the urban scenario, where the relationship between urban authorities and rulers was represented and negotiated both visually and through the use of space. In particular these events are viewed in relation to the urban space where they took place, and each other. The book argues that the significance of triumphal entries becomes clearer when they are seen as a sequence of interconnected events; contextualising them helps understanding the organisers' desire to follow or separate from tradition, incorporating or refusing to acknowledge foreign flavours.
The study also looks at the broader context of courtly events staged in parallel with triumphal entries, including the uses of spaces, the iconography, speeches, and pageants, in order to compare the urban authorities' idealised view of the world presented in the entry with the ruler's own version staged at court. This is then further contextualised through comparisons with similar events taking place elsewhere in Europe. This underlines the fine balance achieved between retaining Scotland's individual characters and adopting fashionable themes inspired by foreign cultures, and contextualise the reasons behind individual choices - both in an urban and a courtly environment. Italian Renaissance, Dutch, French, and English influences will be particularly considered.
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